The Gig Economy

What is this “Gig” economy anyway?

“Gigs” – short-term contracts mediated by digital platform businesses – are increasing,  and have the potential to transform the future of work in Canada and globally. The work is  precarious – meaning it is temporary, contract-based, low paid, and provides no training, health, or retirement benefits.

— Towards An Understanding Of Workers’ Experiences In The Global Gig Economy

Statistics Canada finds that between November 2015 and October 2016, 9.5 percent of people 18 and over living in Canada participated in the “sharing economy,” as users or workers (Statistics Canada, 2017) … one estimate for the United States suggests that 50 percent of the US workforce will be contractors working through digital platforms by 2020[1]

— Carlton, Korberg, Pike, & Seldon, 2017

“42 percent of the Canadian labour force is at a high risk of being affected by automation within the next 10 to 20 years… We also discovered that there will likely be major job restructuring as a result of new technology. Using a different methodology, we found that nearly 42 percent of the tasks that Canadians are currently paid to do can be automated using existing technology.

Brookfield Institute

[1] Official statistics don’t necessarily capture part time work, self-employment, underground employment, under-employment and labour force dropouts.

[2] Towards An Understanding Of Workers’ Experiences In The Global Gig Economy, Uttam Bajwa, Lilian Knorr, Erica Di Ruggiero, Denise Gastaldo, Adam Zendel; Toronto, April 2018

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